By Ian Neubauer and Amelia Ball

Absolut vodka will continue to be distributed in the domestic market by Maxxium Australia until 2010, following the sale of the vodka brand’s parent company, Vin & Spirit Group (V&S), to Pernod Ricard France.  

“The settlement of the deal will likely extend for approximately three more month and, once completed, a notice period will apply, with the current Maxxium agreement providing for two years,” a Maxxium spokesperson said.

“In the interim, Australian distributors Maxxium and Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) will continue ‘business as usual’ with Absolut here in the Australian market until final conclusion of the deal.”     

Pernod Ricard yesterday confirmed it had won an auction to acquire Sweden’s Vin&Spirit Group (V&S), owners of Absolut.

“The acquisition represents an outstanding opportunity for Pernod Ricard and will result in the group becoming co-leader in the global wine and spirits industry,” the company said. “The acquisition does not include V&S’ 10 per cent interest in Beam Global Spirits & Wine.”

V&S CEO Bengt Baron told Associated Press last year the company would fetch between $5.7 and $7.3 billion. However, a high-stakes auction that resulted in a showdown between Pernod and Fortune Brands, Absolut’s US distributor, pushed the purchase price up to $9.7 billion.

Absolut is the number four international premium spirits brand in the world and the number one premium vodka brand in the world. Around 11 million cases of the iconic spirit brand sold in 2007.

Absolut boasts a growth profile of 9 per cent and brand influence reaching far beyond the liquor industry into art, popular culture, advertising, photography, film and design.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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